We knew we were in for a good time before we even walked into Raley Field on Friday night.
A., who loves any machine that’s loud and fast, couldn’t believe his good luck at seeing planes flying so low. But things got better.
A banner hung overhead near the entrance announcing $1 hot dogs and ice creams, and I knew then and there that we were in for an eat-a-thon.
First-inning action was already under way, but we had our priority: food.
A., who I think gets his love of grub from me, stepped up to a food counter and ordered a giant vanilla soft serve in a waffle cone. He was handed the tallest, most beautiful soft serve I’ve ever seen. Was A. up for the eating challenge? He assured me yes.
As for me, I could not let this $1 offer go to waste. Three hot dogs and an ice cream sandwich for me, please.
Since there happened to be a baseball game going on, A. took me over to his favorite spot — the grassy slope along the outfield. A neighbor kindly gave us tickets for some very nice seats, but A. likes to sit on the grass, where foul balls sometimes land.
So we found a place on the sod and began to chow down in a serious way. It was bliss, sitting with A. eating ballpark food on a warm August night, watching the game out of the corner of my eye as a setting sun cast shades of red on a few clouds to the west. Nice.
Once we were well fed, it was off to the kiddie game area nearby. A. tried wiffle-ball batting practice, pitching practice, the obstacle course and the tall inflatable slide. We were soon on the move again, checking out stuff for sale outside the souvenir shop.
In the later innings, we eventually found seats. We watched a little of the game and the American Idol-type contest that was going on along the third-base line.
We stuck around through the ninth, digging the music played prior to each batter, watching people do the wave and checking out video clips played on the large screen in the outfield.
By the way, the River Cats lost 3-0. But did it really matter?